Higher Ed Athletics is a multi-media outlet that focuses on current events and governance at the intersection of higher education and intercollegiate athletics.

HEA is guided by two points of emphasis:

  1. Explain to higher education community (presidents/provosts/researchers/journalists) all about NCAA governance/standards/metrics/research to create an accurate description of the NCAA governance model that is often misrepresented
  2. Keep a pulse on innovation and state/federal legislature in higher ed to gauge its potential impact on NCAA governance

HEA founder Travis Smith hosts the Higher Ed Athletics podcast where he interviews institutional leadership and industry experts. But HEA is more than just a podcast. Through a partnership with the IUPUI Sports Innovation Institute consumers can expect to see visualized data research and reports on a variety of current issues and innovation in both higher ed and the NCAA.

Travis created Higher Ed Athletics first and foremost to give a more accurate description of how and why the NCAA does actually fit into higher education.

But Travis was a bit selfish with why he started HEA.

The Higher Ed Athletics podcast is also Smith’s subtle way of asking questions and getting advice for his own career from industry leaders as he progresses towards the athletic director, provost or college president route.


Every dollar generated through Higher Ed Athletics goes directly towards an additional student loan payment as Travis attempts to pay down his student loans and begin a PhD in Higher Education.